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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

Reharmonized / Healing Ponies POV Series
Subject Trixie

"True Meaning" Of "Tarot Number Thirteen"

"Welcome one, welcome all! Now begins the tale you my loyal audience have waited so long for! What follows is the tale that is like no other! Yes yes I see those looks! But I implore you to stay with me until the very end until you pass judgement! Now sit back and behold this fantastic and astounding account of how . . . The Great and Powerful Trixie, one of the greatest show mages in the history of Equestria. . . died."

~~~~~
+++++
~~~~~

When I wasn't eating or sleeping, I was asking Pinkie Pie details about what she remembered about her, ahem, reunification. I read every book I could on dream symbolism hoping it might help me once I began. I also was sure to check on Trixie repeatedly. She wasn't any trouble. She did anything she was told without a word.

You have no idea how close I was to spanking a certain someone's butt raw when they tested it by asking Trixie to stand on one hoof and giggled at her obedience. I won't say who because that person is someone who is not normally mean or sadistic and therefore I won't ruin their reputation because of one incident.

But it did hammer home how deeply entrenched Discord's taint was. The proud and loudmouth Trixie who didn't listen to anyone, reduced to a puppet-like servile mute wallflower.

I even risked a trip through the Everfree Forest to see Zecora. I figured an outsider's point of view plus her vast knowledge of 'alternative medicine' and natural cures might just give me a few hints on how to go about the completely insane plan that had formed in my head after the episode of Pinkie's awakening and Rainbow's confession.

Ever since the encounter with the cockatrice I've been MUCH more careful going through Everfree, and made sure to have someone with me (in this case Applejack) and even asked Pinkie Pie if her Pinkie Sense foretold anything. I know Pinkie's tics couldn't be trusted to predict everything, but it was best to know if they predicted anything.

We found Zecora's house with the drapes pulled and the zebra witch doctor/shaman/what-have-you herself in the spot in the middle of her room that was normally reserved for her cooking pot.  Maybe it was better her eyes were closed, I never got over how Zecora's eyes glowed yellow in the dark.

Zecora's hide was covered in dry sweat, she sat in a circle of candles in one of her meditative poses. She had her front hooves together and her eyes shut intensely.

"Zecora?" I asked as tactfully as I could.

"Hello Twilight Sparkle. Welcome here. Don't worry there is nothing to fear."

For once I didn't wonder why Zecora rhymed nearly everything she said. "Zecora are you okay?"

"I am no worse for wear. This is my burden to bear." She didn't open her eyes even if her ears did flick in our direction.

"What happened?" I asked even though I already knew the answer.

"Madness and havoc incarnate found me. Sought to make me as wild as the rest of Everfree. He . . . . made the Poison Joke grow like crazy, then things begin to get hazy. I can not deny, I tell a lie. From rumor to reality he made the switch, I was a wild witch. After my sanity's resuscitation, I began to meditate without hesitation. Long and hard has it been, but I have managed to crawl back from where I was that made the devil grin."

Applejack said at once, "Zecora. I know we didn't get off to a good start when we first met. But I'm speaking the honest truth when I saw there are doctors in Ponyville that Princess Celestia commanded to treat for damage Discord did to them on the inside. I know you live in Everfree, but I promise they -will- help you if we ask them."

"I know in Ponyville I am no longer loathed, but I would not wish to look back and find I had imposed." She hadn't moved an inch in her pose and her eyes remained shut.

"It's not imposing, it's just accepting help that's being offered." AJ said. "But ya insist on it being some kind of kooky square deal, Twilight has some stuff to ask ya."

"Zecora . . . I need your help. There's a pony who Discord hurt a lot worse than most. And I have an idea to help her, but I want your advice."

"Then say what you came to say, that is of course why you came all this way."

So I told her everything, about Trixie, about Discord, the memory spell, Hoofington, and where my idea had come from. AJ told me my scheme was reckless, but at least I was putting thought into it. I just told her my options were limited. AJ said I didn't need to lie and could just say I wanted to help Trixie myself.

Zecora told me about some of the finer points about meditation, about how your own mind worked and not to trust others to work the same and other important details. I thanked her profusely. Before we left (and Zecora promising to make an appointment with the visiting psychologists) she said.

"Twilight Sparkle. Heed these words. If you wish to be the one to help this pony: then you must also accept it'll be part of your responsibility, not just her family's, to help her see in the light once you've led her out of the darkness."

I startle. Zecora hadn't rhymed those words. A deadly seriousness radiated from her as her eyes opened just a crack, her blue eyes gleaming yellow in the low light.  I steeled myself for come what may.  "I will."

The last thing I expected when I got home was Owlowiscious asking Trixie questions during his shift.  "Who?" 'Who are you truly?'  "Who?" 'Who is dearest to you?' "Who?" 'Who is it that has made you who you are?' "Who?" 'Who are you to deny the help of others?' "Who?" 'Who is always there for you even when you try to push them away?'

I didn't know if Owlowiscious was trying to goad Trixie out of her shell with that three letter word, or whether I still had a long way to go to figuring out what Owlowiscious even meant when hooting! Wouldn't be the first time I jumped to conclusions in the face of everything Celestia taught me (yes yes, Pinkie Sense, can we not talk about that time please?).

I looked her in the eyes as I speak to her before I began the spell. "Trixie. I can't cast the memory spell to get you to remember your real self with whatever part of you is blocking me so I'm simply going to have to try to get past it. I promise I'll never tell anyone what I see. And I'll try to never to speak of any of it. But this is the only way I can help you. I hope you can forgive me for that someday." It felt really weird worrying about the forgiveness of a pony who had publicly humiliated three of my friends and inspired the Ursa Minor Incident in Ponyville. But I knew what I was about to do could be considered as big a violation of her inner most self as what Discord did to her. I felt sick and my mouth ran dry and I began to cast the spell.

I wasn't joking with Applejack when I said some components in a spell needed to be timed within a tenth of a second of each other or it would fall apart. Magic is not static, it is active and alive. Magic follows a very real and scrutable set of rules the same as the rest of the natural world, but that also means that it could very unforgivingly go off in its own direction if you didn't guide it.

I had both Spike and Owlowiscious on stand-by in case something went wrong. Like what? I don't know. Something, anything. In a way I was treading into unknown territory. I had never been that interested in mind magic, I didn't want to turn ponies into puppets, okay there was that incident with Fluttershy but that was for her own good, she wanted out of modeling! The memory spell was something I learned as part of my studies and was able to adapt to a completely new use on the fly with some clever adjustments. Then the parasprite spell, and my Want It Need Spell . . . okay so I'm a big fat liar. But it was just round out my magic like Celestia wanted.

Yes, I knew something could go wrong. Something can always go wrong. Did I think about how this could cost Trixie? Yes I did. But I just reminded myself, I was the only pony alive to remove Discord's taint from another pony. I was therefore the best for the job. And if I handed her over to others, they would spend more time studying her than trying to help her. I wasn't sure how much of that was true and how much I was just telling myself.

Yes, I know it was reckless! Yes, I know I should have known better! Yes, I know it could have been called foolish! But there had always been something about Trixie. Maybe when I first met her I saw her as a way I could have gone if I had made different choice and didn't have Celestia's guiding hoof. I know I wasn't responsible for what happened to her home. I knew I technically owed her nothing. But, for once in my life I was going with my feelings, it felt RIGHT to help her. And it would have felt selfish to have gone to the lengths I had gone to save my friends from Discord, and to pan her off to someone else. Was it my ego? I don't think so. Whatever it was, it had nothing to do with my pride.

So why did I kill her? Wait. WHAT-?! Kill her?! What the bucking hay are you even talking about?! What is this?! I didn't kill Trixie! There's no way I could have! Celestia's mane what are you talking about?! What a minute! What's going on here! Who are you? You are NOT who my friends and I have been speaking with!

~~~

"Of course I am Miss Sparkle. Of course I am." Said an dark blue Earth Pony wearing a white coat. "You've been with us for some time. After you had your mental break down trying to help all your friends at once, you weren't satisfied that Applejack was doing a better job helping others than you, you madly fled to Hoofington, tracked down Miss Trixie, assaulted her in the middle of the night, and you overpowered her and your spell forced her to relive every moment of her life at once causing a brain hemorrhage that killed her at once. Then you took her corpse back to Ponyville and played nurse to it for a few days until your friends found you and deposited you here."

I was in a white room with a bolted door wearing a straight jacket. There was a larger light blue Earth Pony by the door acting like a statue.

"You don't need to worry about murder charges, since you were clearly insane during the incident. You have created some rather absurd fantasies. An extended family for Trixie for starters. Rainbow Dash slipping into momentary madness in front you Rarity and Applejack? Clearly a shadow projection on your part. But still, I find it interesting. Why, of all people, help someone like Trixie? Why bother? What was there to gain? What was there to be had? Clearly there were others that you could have easily super imposed your fantasy to be some sort of savior on. So why have your fantasy center around such a pony you had met once in your life and was just another unicorn you had happened to know of?"

I stared. My mouth agape. The apparent doctor on the other side of the table just kept smiling at me patronizingly. I felt pressure at the back of my brain pressing against my eyes like a dam. Everything I had just been told, everything I was seeing. I felt it. I heard it. I smelled it. I felt my spine turn to ice. If my stomach wasn't empty I was sure I'd be vomiting (did equine do that?).  Finally I managed to whisper out. "Everyone is special. Everyone has worth."

"Oh please dear," said the Doctor still in a completely friendly tone. "That's just a nice way to say no one is special and no one has worth."

I looked at him feeling somewhat scandalized. "That's not a very doctorly thing to say."

"This is my job. It's what I'm paid to do. It's not like I'm doing it because I care. It's simply my job for you to realize your insanity, accept it, and let go of these delusions of saving Trixie."

I lowered my head and began to tap my horn against the table. I stopped and looked at my horn, almost crossing my eyes as I did so. I glanced at his flanks seeing a black and white cross. "That's funny. Because I don't see a paycheck tattooed on your butt."

The doctor's eyes widened. "My my my such language, that is not like you at all Twilight Sparkle. Or maybe this is the real you. A crude thug who wants to flaunt herself to others but wants to maintain the illusion of being modest."

I didn't make a reply to that at first. The room was silent for several minutes. No one was moving. Finally I said rearing up. "You know? You're right! I am a big arrogant nag who thinks she can solve everything with a spell and a big big plan! If I can't get Celestia's approval, I lose my reason for being. So I go completely crazy trying to impress her! And I'm pretty sure I have emotional issues with super imposing the feelings for my absent mom onto the Princess! That just about cover it?"

The doctor startled. He froze for several seconds before replying. "I, er, yes, yes yes! That does! Well this is a break through! Now how about you just admit you were trying to save Trixie just to fuel your own pride. It didn't matter it was Trixie you were trying to save. It could have been any pony, as long as it made you look good, but it made you look better by helping a pony who detested you."

I sat back down. I let the fire cool down and said as apologetically as I could, "I never meant to hurt Trixie. I saved her life from the Ursa Minor. I had nothing to do with her home being destroyed. I know that her feelings were hurt, and hurt BADLY when her tall tale got exposed and she thought everyone in Ponyville would just laugh at her.

"I just wish she had stayed to find out that, well, -most- ponies in Ponyville are forgiving. We didn't even form a 'parasprite extermination squad' after they devoured half the town! And Snips and Snails started the mess, she just lit the fire. It's pretty clear she never intended what happened to happen. I know she was likely just trying to delay losing face, but she still had the courage to face what she thought was an Ursa Major! And for that brief moment when she dropped her 'great and powerful' act . . . there was just a mare who just wanted some attention. The joke is, if the situation had been reversed, and Trixie 'the bad pony' was the one who got out-shined during her own magic act and ran away crying rather than Rarity, I can't say for sure if we'd have felt sorry for her if WE were the ones who had overdone it teaching her to be humble. Which is NOT how ponies are supposed to feel or act. And I apologize for that! I know I can't rightfully apologize for others, but accept mine at least."

"I am not the ones you should be apologizing to or can apologize to. Trixie is dead.  Why are you blabbering all that nonsense now? It's not like you actually mean any of it. Then again, when none of your three friends ever coming to visit you, I guess you need someone to talk to."

"My friends?"

"Yes yes. It's so sad. They bring you here and then they abandon you. But that's the truth about friends I suppose. They only stay friends as long as you're useful to them."

"That's not true! Snips and Snails put on a MAGIC ACT for the school talent show! They based their costumes on her! Even after they found out Trixie's story was a lie they still loved her show! She inspired them! Likely the first thing in those two dumbbells' lives that made them want to apply themselves!"

The doctor took a step back. He looked like he was the one scared and confused. "You're lying. You have to be."

"So you said none of my friends visited? At all?"

"Yes. None did. They left you all alone."

"Are any of my friends dead or hospitalized or away on business?"

"No. They simply see no reason to see you when you're now just a mad mare."

"And I had no visitors at all? Not even Princess Celestia?"

"Why would she visit you?"

"Because I'm her apprentice and envoy duh."

"W-well obviously not anymore! Clearly! A mad mare is no fit student for a goddess. She has moved onto someone else now clearly."

" . . . you just blew it." I said standing up, my mind clearing.

"Blew what my dear?" The Doctor went back into that generic smiling face.

"You said three friends. I just remembered. Trixie's never met Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie personally. She also doesn't know I was Celestia's student. She only knows things about us we've spoken in front of her like AJ's good deeds marathon. Also I think the only inside of a mental ward she's ever seen was one from a play or movie. I've been visiting one repeatedly for some spell casting on some traumatized pegasi. And if I was a delusional accidental killer . . . WHY DIDN'T YOU PUT A SEAL ON MY HORN?! That part often gets left out in shows for drama's sake! But it's NOT how it actually works! And you aren't even taking notes or have a recorder with you!"

I telekinetically undid the straps on the straightjacket and threw it off.

"Leave me alone." Said the doctor sadly and a little scared. It was in Trixie's voice.

"I'm sorry Trixie! I can't! I saved my friends from Discord's taint! And I'll save you."

The doctor fell over like an abandoned puppet. The big blue Earth Pony at the door leapt at me. "GET OUT!!!!" I recognized that voice. It was the same one that thrown me out of Trixie's mind every time. I did some telekinetic judo and threw him over my shoulder. His coat darkened to black, his form lithe, and his mane became silver.  Where there had been a spike-collar cutie mark before, was now a white queen chess piece.

"Morgan." I said looking at the shade of Trixie's mother.

"You should have followed the script and descended into insanity. Trixie doesn't need to go outside! Ever! All people do is ignore her or humiliate her or pretend to placate her! You won't take her back to that awful outside! I'll always protect her!"

"I'm happy to know that Trixie knows that her mother loves her enough for her defenses to manifest as you."

"BE GONE!" I felt a wind against me, no, the gale force of a tornado! But I managed to hold on even as the room was torn apart, but I wasn't going anywhere, not this time.

I rammed at the image of Morgan who avoided touching me like I was a plague, and FORCED my way through the wall in front of me, and -everything- shattered!

And I fell, and kept falling, and I knew I'd keep falling forever if I didn't think and think fast! And so I thought: 'Trixie, I'm coming!'

I instantly landed with a grunt in the middle of Hoofington with a cloudy black sky with the buildings all having several more floors then they should have had.

I knew that the part of Trixie blocking me would try to keep me from getting deeper the moment I tried to enter her mind directly. But I never thought it would try a trick like that! I just hoped that Spike didn't panic and try to FORCE the connection between our two horns apart. That could cause some real damage to the both of us. Not to mention I doubt I'd even get THIS far ever again now that Trixie's mind knew this trick.

Okay Twilight. Focus. No more fun and games. You had to find Trixie in here, not just her memories, fears, thought and figments, you have to find HER.

And instantly the town was full of Trixies! Screw my nightmares this was just plain worse! I looked this way and that! Trixies of various ages, from childish to elderly, with Trixies in inescapable male roles bearing a bowler's mustache! They chatted about mindless things, the weather, the geopolitical situation with the dragons and griffons. And of course they'd all be calling each other Trixie. All of them brightly colored.

Was this a trick? A defense? No. It wasn't. This was something else. I looked at myself and gasped. I WAS TRIXIE! But who else would I be? It wasn't like I could be anyone else. So why I had I startled? Everyone was Trixie so of course I was Trixie too. Everyone was the same. Trixie was generic. Trixie was the same. Trixie was replaceable. Trixie, TRIXIE WAS WHO I WAS HERE TO SAVE!

I screamed at the top of my lungs! My correct coloring and mane style returned. I shook my head. That was too close. The town was suddenly several shade of gray and covered in a fog.

"You should have just let me absorb you." Morgan's voice rang out.

"I'm not giving up on her." I said simply.

A spotlight shined down from the heavens. I turned my head. There was a filly on the street, too young even for her cutie mark. She had faded grayed out colors that might have been silver and blue. She was whimpering to herself, crying. No one was even paying one iota of concern for her.

I took a few trots towards the crying filly.

"Stay away from her." Morgan's voice threatened.

"No."

I trotted towards the little filly. The moment I was in speaking range a piece of the dark clouds twisted down like a long snake landing right next to her and twisted into a black unicorn mare. She knelt besides the filly putting her front hooves around her and cooed in her ear.

"There there Trixie. Just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. It's okay that you're not worth anything. It's okay that you have no value. It's okay that in your entire life you've left no mark on anything. Just sit right there and cry. Let others feel sorry for you that way. It's okay to be worthless when others feel sorry for you right? When you're worthless, when you're below average, when you're not worth a thing, as least then you're not generic. No one pays attention to anything average, only to the really good or the really bad dearie. You failed to be great, so just be awful and everyone will pay attention to you, if only for a little while."

"Trixie!" I shouted! The filly stopped crying for one moment. Morgan growled at me as no pony is supposed to. "Self-pity never helps anyone! Least of all yourself! People only look at you until they realize you're a lost cause and leave you right back where you started! Alone! TRIXIE PLEASE YOU HAVE TO TRY!"

"There there baby, don't listen to the nasty old mare, just listen to mommy."

"TRIXIE THAT THING IS NOT YOUR MOTHER!"

Trixie looked at me and Morgan confused.

"Your mother never tried to keep you her prisoner and she certainly never encouraged you to give up!"

"Why do you care? Trixie's just the bad guy in your story anyway."

"You're right. She's not as decent or as noble as my friends. She's selfish and under-handed."

"So you want her to go back to an 'arrogant show off'?"

"I want her to go back to her REAL SELF! Not this emptied out shell you're helping her hide in! Trixie, let me help you."

The filly finally locked eyes with me, anger screaming from them. "And what makes you think I -want- help? Least of all from you?"

She had finally spoken to me. Was that a good or bad thing? "Is it so bad, that someone wants to take their time to help you?"

"NO! NOT ME! You'd do the same for anypony! It wouldn't matter if it was me or not! Nothing special!"

"Every pony is special Trixie." Could I get close enough to do the memory spell with Morgan right there?

"That's a nice way to say no one is!" She screamed.

A giant black tower with a star motif tore its way up through the earth, taking Trixie and 'Morgan' with them. The cracks in the earth grew to canyon size swallowing up the other Trixies who screamed in terror as they fell into the darkness, taking me and the town with them.

Images and memories and words flash before my eyes. A filly angry at not being exceptional at anything, a councilor ignored words, the failed run away to the circus scheme, meeting her master, learning to be a magician, humiliating Blue Flames and the other students cheering Trixie for it, HER CUTIE MARK!!!, dropping out, setting out on the road. Disaster at Ponyville. No one willing to give her a show chance after. A floating magic wand that promised to give her magic everyone would love. The magic being impossibly fantastic . . . and everyone telling her that her magic was no big deal. And from then on, seeing the world through a gray haze.

I fell and I tumbled, telling my self to stay calm, to stay in control, Trixie may have been ruler of this world but she was divided and I still ruled over myself. One thing I knew for sure. I wasn't going to play any games Morgan threw my way. After Discord I had realized the danger in trying to play a game by the rules set by someone who had the full intention of you losing. Not that it mattered if I'm falling . . and falling . . . and falling . . . geeze how about I hit the bottom alrea - SPLAT. Except not splat. I hit with a grunt, knocking the wind out of me, but every bone in my body didn't shatter into splinters on impact like it should have.

I looked around. I was surrounded by giant stone blocks haphazardly stacked about. All of them with big bold letters of the Equestrian's alphabet on them.

The place should have been pitch black with a black sky and sheer stone cliffs. But here I was. Still okay and able to see. I was miles down.

I looked about for any way to climb up when I spotted something. It was a giant vault door. The classic kind you saw in entertainment with the big round pudgy door. Engraved across the top was 'BY ORDER OF THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE. THIS VAULT IS TO NEVER BE OPENED!'

My curiosity got the better of my common sense and got closer. And I could hear . . . a little filly singing on the other side? Okay. Fair chance there was a monster on the other side of the vault door imitating the voice of a little girl who wanted out and would eat me the moment I opened it and then eat Trixie leaving her psychotic or brain dead. Fit with Trixie's sense of drama. On the other hoof . . .

"Hello." I called right in front of the giant vault door in the cliff side.

"HELLO! Who are you?" The voice asked cheerfully.

"I'm Twilight Sparkle."

"Never heard of you. Are a new friend of Trixie's?"

" . . . I want to be."

"Oh! That's cool! That means she still popular and has lots and lots of friends right? I know she does! Okay! Thanks for letting me know! Tell her I said hi!"

Okay. That didn't fit the 'monster trying to get out' script.

"Who are you?"

"No one important. No one needed."

I had heard just enough of those words. "HORSE APPLES!"

"ICK! That's a bad word! You need to wash your mouth out! By royal command!"

I tilted my head. "Royal command? Who ARE you?!"

"I . . . can't really remember because Trixie can't really remember . . . "

"Because you're inside there?"

"Yes."

"You're not going to switch places with me in there or something are you?"

"Why would I?"

"Because that's typical of these situations."

"Since when is Trixie typical-?! She's the most special pony in all the world!"

That's all I needed to hear. "That's it. I'm letting you out of there."

"Huh? Wait!"

I wasn't listening I magically turned the cartoonish vault handle and pulled, surprise to find it had been forgotten to be locked.

A bright pink unicorn filly with long blond mane and tail with curls and bright blue eyes, and a cone princess hat with unused veil, and a white and blue dress with hearts and stars all over it and wearing glass slippers and, and, and and and! The details flowed over like a waterfall with no proper pacing or placement spilling over all at once!

Did I mention she hug tackled me? No? She did.

"Hiiii! Thanks for freeing me! Now that I'm out of there I remember who I am! And now I know what Trixie knows! And she needs help! Can you help me save her?"

I looked up at the filly, there was a little purple reflective star on her cheek. I glanced at her cutie mark. A heart within a star within a heart within a star surrounding by bright red ribbons and tiny five pointed stars.

"Uh, who are you?"

She leapt off me and assumed a regal pose. Or what a five year old would think is one. "I am Trixie's best friend in the whole wide world! I am Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eigth! I am the ruler of the Kingdom of Hoofingtononia! The happiest kingdom in Equestria! Trixie and I do everything together! I even take her dragon riding!"

It dawned on me at last. "You're an imaginary friend."

"Yep! Me and Trixie also once saved Hoofington from an Ursa Major! I promoted Trixie to Co-Princess on the spot for her bravery!"

Okay. Gotcha. I struggle not to look too surprised at that one.

"So . . . how long have you been in there?"

"Oh I don't mind! I still have all my treasures from my adventures with Trixie! And I think . . . since soon after her Cute-ceañera I think."

I remember Trixie's memories I saw as I flew past down here.  "I see."

"She said with all the crowds now loving her, she didn't need me anymore to play with someone other than her sisters."

"Why didn't Trixie ever try to make other friends?" I asked.

" . . . she didn't know how. And her sisters and brothers always wanted her to play with her or needed her. And she'd get angry every time one of those stupid foals asked her if she and her sisters were clones, or if they were golems all made with blue clay. That was only a few really now that I think about it now. Others wanted to play. But by then I had met Trixie."

"I see." I sighed.

"She even gave me this great gift to show how much she loved being my friend!" Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower produced a small blue star shaped gem from nowhere. What struck me however . . . was the crown in which it was set. It wasn't exactly the same. More like a circlet. But there was no denying it!

"Impossible." I whispered. Trixie had NEVER seen this! Let alone when she was filly! "The Element of Magic?"

"Huh?"

"That's . . . that's the Element of Magic!"

"That's what it's called? Trixie could never come up with a name for it."

I looked at the jewel set in the tiara. It was tarnished, rough, unpolished, nearly uncut. But what I sensed from it was FLAWLESSLY familiar even if it was little more than a flicker of a cinder in a burned out fireplace. This was the same power as mine.

A lot of things suddenly made sense.

"Princess Star Flower! You're right! Trixie IS special! More special than she could possibly imagine! . . . As a servant of royalty and as someone who wishes to be a friend of Trixie's! I request that you allow me to return her gift to her!"

"It's mine!"

I knelt down to look at her. "Princess. Do you love Trixie?"

"She's my bestest best friend in whole wide world and in the whole universe!"

"Well I need the help of that little treasure to help save her. I promise it'll help save her from the evil queen whose holding her captive and has her under an evil spell. It'll break the spell and set her free."

"Really?"

"Yes really."

"Then Trixie can have real friends?"

I didn't know how to escape this question. So I bore with it and answered. "Yes."

"YIPPIE!" Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower shouted and clapped her back hooves together jumping in the air.

"Huh?"

Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower just smiled and nodded. "We imaginary friends have a sacred code. We exist to help those along when they don't have real friends to turn to. I was wondering why I could never fall asleep. That meant Trixie still needed me, but she never came back for me."

I looked at the words above the vault door, 'The Great And Powerful Trixie.' I think I know why.

"I'll give this to you, if you promise that you'll help Trixie make lots of real friends!"

I bowed my head. "You have my word your highness."

She placed the crown atop my head. It smelled like Trixie.

"I hereby royally degree you royal messenger and agent of the kingdom of Hoofingtononia! You are to bring my gift to Co-Princess Trixie at once! Hey, if you want to be Trixie's friend, that means we can be friends too right?"

I smiled at the figment of Trixie's imagination. "I guess so yes."

Instantly she said in surprise. "Huh? How's that happen?"

I blinked and saw the crown in her hooves, wait . . . I touched my head. The crown was now there too. Two crowns? The same one in two places at once?

"What happened?" Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower asked looking very confused.

I understood. "Didn't anyone tell you? . . . Friendship is magic."

"I . . . I think I understand." She said looking at the two crowns. "Come on, let's-"

A savage growl echoed through the canyon causing a few giant stone building blocks to fall over. Huge iron bars appeared around Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower, twisting together above her into a sealed cage. "I know! So Trixie should know! So that means the other her knows too!"

I banged and magically ram stones into the bars, but nothing worked. Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower magically summoned a sword twice as long as she is and strikes against the bars . . . only for the sword to shatter. "The other her, won't let me see Trixie." Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower looked at me sadly. "Please. I'm just a figment. Save my best friend." She looks at me pleadingly. I mutely nod.

I called upon all my inner strength, and cast the gossamer wing spell, not tiring as it was before, maybe because this was all happening in Trixie's head, or due to my practice with it. Either way, I felt courage.

"Do what I can't my servant. And save Co-Princess Trixie!"

"I promise." I flew up out of the gorge of childhood memories, and up the black tower right to the top. Parts of it broke off and fell right in my path that I had to dodge, then parts of the grew into griffon claws and tried to grab me, but I was more nimble then they were.

I was at the flat top of the tower in no time. I found that thing and Trixie there.

"What does it take to have you forgotten!" That thing snarled.

"More power than you have here Loneliness!" I declared my heart pounding in my ears.

"Loneliness-?!"

"You are not Morgan! I may have spent just one afternoon with her but that's still more than enough to know you are NOTHING like Trixie's real mother! The opposite result of friendship is loneliness. Which is what you've been trying to keep Trixie in this whole time! Trapped in this gray fogged out world! And you aren't going to stop me from having a heart to heart talk with her anymore!"

"Trixie loves it here! With no expectations to fill! Nothing to lose! Just the comfort of being the tragic character in this play! Isn't that right my little baby?" Loneliness said in a cooing tone turning her head back at the filly at the center of the flat tower's top.

Suddenly it was a theater. And there standing on her back hooves was the filly Trixie. She was meekly peeking around her own shoulder. She was chained with thick shackles on her four hooves that nearly pulled her down with their weight. She was also dressed with as a court jester complete with a fool's scepter in her mouth. She sniffled. A rotten tomato hit her. Instantly she was surrounded by Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and a copy of me, and several other members of Ponyville who had been at her show. There was also her sisters and two colts I bet were her brothers, along with an elderly white and gray pony, a red pony with a blue flame for a cutie mark, and another copy of Morgan, and her father. And they laughed and jeered at her and threw more rotten fruit at her.

"COME ON! MAKE THIS TWENTY PERCENT MORE FUNNY!" The fake Rainbow Dash laughed.

"SUCH SNIFFLING! SUCH CRYING! HOW DISGRACEFUL! HOW REVOLTING! DON'T YOU DARE CRY! YOU'RE MAKING YOURSELF MORE UGLY! STAND PERFECTLY STILL!" Said the fake Rarity Belle throwing more rotted veggies.

"COME ON YA VARMIT! SAY SOMETHIN'! YA THINK ANYONE'S GONNA LIKE YA MORE JUST CAUSE YER AH SAD LOSER? BIG CRY BABY! BIG CRY BABY!" Heckled the fake Applejack throwing of course rotten apples.

"Play with us Trixie! FOREVER!" Shouted the fake Lexy.

"DO WHAT I SAY ALREADY!" Snarled the fake Mixie.

"Did you say something I'm busy!" Shouted the fake Nyxie.

The fake Pixie shouted throwing one bad fruit after the other, "You should be like Mixie! You should be like Mixie! You should be a perfect copy of Mixie!"

"Anything you can do I can better!" Jingled the fake me. "Great and powerful Trixie! Great and powerful Trixie! Great and powerful Trixie! Great and powerful Trixie!"

Soon enough the rest were joining in. "The Great and powerful Trixie! Great and powerful Trixie! Great and powerful Trixie!"

Trixie curled into a ball crying as they just kept hitting her.

"HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU'RE PROTECTING HER!"

"The deeper she goes into darkness . . . the deeper she goes away from the light. The light does nothing but illuminate a world where she is the same as everyone else. Here, self-pity is its OWN comfort. And much better than the lies of friendship or the love of the crowd that vanishes the moment the show is gone and they move onto the next thing. Why would anyone wish to be free of the fog that exists between the self and reality?"

"So just have her broken down more and more until she regresses to nothing?!"

"I shall be there for her. Always. Right besides her."

"Not if I have anything to say about it."

"Don't worry, you won't."

"Except." I said my eyes narrowed and my muscles taunt. "That." I jumped right at the cowering filly, the fake Applejack tried to lasso me but I kicked her in the face and the lasso dissolved. "ISN'T." I landed near her, the tomatoes hitting me now as well. "TRUE!"

I startle as my misfired spell that caused the Parasprite problem to get worse flashed in my mind as a rotten apple hit me. Followed by my wild magic turning my parents into potted plants when a rotten cabbage hit me in the back of the head.  

"TRIXIE!" I shouted at the filly. "I don't think those things of you! My friends don't think those things of you! It's not who they are!!!"

The filly dared to look at me, she started at the crown I was wearing. "That's . . .that's . . . where I . . . where have I . . ."

"This is a gift from a friend of yours. And this is a gift from me!" I touched her forehead and cast the memory spell. Images flashed. A filly performing for her three younger siblings. A blue stallion giving the same blue filly a ride. A black mare viciously defending her from a 'pure-blood' bigot. Her big brother letting her be one of the adventurers rather than the princess who needed to be saved. Her master saying how beautiful her illusions were. A song Pixie had written just for Trixie's Cute-ceañera.

The tower exploded. The shock wave going for miles in all direction, knocking the clouds out of the way of the sphere of destructive force. The fakes and Loneliness either vaporized or sent into orbit in the process. Then everything turned white.

As the white light slowly faded, my vision returned. For being at the center of the equivalent of an atomic blast I didn't feel that bad. The sky was an odd mix of black and blue, blue sky with clouds that looked more like stretched out ink stains lazily marched across the sky. Clouds moving on their own chillingly reminded me of Everfree.

The landscape was faded hard dirt going off in every direction on almost completely flat land. Almost because I was in the middle of a surprisingly smooth bowl shaped blast crater. I noticed giant stone statues of ponies just barely sticking out of the dirt. They looked a bit familiar. Dead black trees shaped like griffon claws caught in an inferno reached up towards a sunless and moonless sky.

Just in front of me was Trixie's Element of Magic. I didn't fail to notice the tiny pink and yellow flowers that bloomed in an inch radius around the tarnished uncut blue gem. It added a strange contrast to this place.

A groan behind me told me all I needed to know and I turned around. There was Trixie, still without her costume, now her age in the real world. Her colors were her own. Violet eyes blinked open as she stood up, getting her bearings and trying to get back her dignity and poise. I got up, her Element of Magic still behind me.

"Twilight Sparkle," She said in a slow disdainful tone her eye narrow.

"Trixie." I breathed out in relief.

Trixie held a hoof to her head as she looked confused and uncertain. Her eyes widened in alarm and shock. "Oh sweet Princess Luna." She swore.

"Trixie. What do you remember?" I had to ask first.

She looked at me again, anger and agitation reading all over her. "I remember . . . I remember . . ." She grunted as if not sure herself.
"I remember a giant version of my cutie mark promising to give me back my life. Instead it took the broken pieces and ground them into powder."

"And after that?"

"Distant feelings. Distant voices. Distance images. A fog everywhere. A cold but comforting feeling. The world being so much more simpler if I . . . I if-" Her eye widened in alarm. "TRIXIE HAS BEEN REDUCED TO A DOG! A PET! My life is worse than ruined! They just wanted to laugh me off stage before! Now they'll laugh at me when I go to buy groceries!"

"No you aren't . . . you still have your family."

"WHAT ABOUT THEM-?!" Trixie snarled. "And how would you know anything about them!"

"They still love you. They've been sick with worry over you. Don't you remember? They were looking after you that whole time."

Trixie gritted her teeth. It looked like she wanted to drive a horse shoe through her brain to stop the pain. Then her eyes bulged open. "Impossible. They, you . . . it's not possible." Trixie looked for any escape route from this train of thought and looked about and asked. "What is this barren and empty place? It's so . . ." She looked for the right word. "Wretch, lifeless."

There was no kind way to put this. "It's your heart Trixie."

"WHAT?!" Trixie shouted. "You're lying! That's not possible! This can't . .. this can't be . . . this CAN'T BE ME!" Trixie looked at the horrific ruined landscape in proper horror.

"Those statues mostly buried? Those are your feelings for your family you've been trying so hard to bury but you've not been quite able to."

"Why shouldn't I?! All they've ever done is try to make Trixie into some identical interchangeable THING! Trixie is herself and no one else! Everything that connects me to them makes me less me!"

"Why didn't you ever dye your coat or mane then? Or even change your name to something more unique from theirs?" I stepped closer, pleading. "Listen to me Trixie! Please! Can't you see? You still love them! And they love you! They always have! You're part of a whole not a . . . not a SPARE! Each of them offers something unique to each other. Just like you. The shroud and the blackness are gone. Just think about your own memories."

I saw confusion cross Trixie's face as the pieces of the shattered puzzle continued to repair themselves and slip back into their proper places. And I saw Trixie shed a single tear.

She held both hooves to her head in shock her voice slipping quickly into outright shouting. "No. I just wanted to be special! I just wanted to be noticed! I just wanted to be unique! I just wanted to be ME instead of 'one of us!' I want to be famous. I wanted to be remembered! Not just a name, birth and death date in a record book! I WANT TO BE SEEN! I just want to be seen!!!. . . I wanted to stand on my own."

"NO ONE stands on their own Trixie." I said in a tone I hoped was as far from self-righteous as possible. "And if that was true Trixie, why are you so fixated on what the audience thinks of you?"

"Trixie doesn't . . . Trixie doesn't . . . because . . . because when I hear them cheer for me, for -me-, not for a group I'm a part of, not for a show I aided in the production of, but for -me-, I know they notice I exist, they know I'm alive. -I know- that I'm alive!"

"Yes dear." Her mother's head snaked out of the ground followed by the rest. Her head was connected to a very long body with scales like a dragon and the tail of a fish. She had one wing that was that of a parasprite, and another that was dragon. One hind leg was that of a deer, the other a coyote. her front legs had one that was a the arm of a monkey and the other like the paw of a tiger. She had a pair of stubby horns that went off in opposing odd directions. Her colors remained mostly blacks and silvers. She twisted around Trixie almost like a boa constrictor but not touching her directly. "Can you hear them now? The crowd is waiting for you. Can't you hear your audience? They want the Great And Powerful Trixie. The pony who knows no doubt or fear or hesitation or regret. She only thrills them with her fantastic tales and silences the neigh-sayers as swiftly as they appear. She doesn't need anyone. She only needs herself. She is unto herself and only herself. You can hear them can't you Trixie?"

I stood in horror. I cast the memory spell already! What was it going to take to make this monster die-?! Could it die? Or had it metastasized? Had I really been too late after all? Almost from the start?

Lifeless, soulless, cardboard cut outs of ponies for an audience began to rise out of the dirt followed by a cheap tape recording of enthusiastic cheers.

Trixie looked at them like a sailor entranced by a siren's song. Maybe I had been an idiot after all. Maybe Spike had been simply right. Maybe Trixie really was beyond saving and any goodness in her was really just scar tissue. Maybe she was selfish to her core after all. Maybe she really COULDN'T love anyone but herself. Maybe she really was just a bad pony who was bad news to everyone around, end of story.

"Trixie is THIS the kind of love you really want? The kind that winks out the moment the stage lights do?"

Trixie startled as she looked at me after what I said said. Loneliness snarled at me and hissed.

A hopeless cause? Whatever. I had a promise to keep.

"Trixie, I have a gift for you. It's from a friend who asked me to give it to you, and to make sure you made lots of friends." I floated her Element of Magic from behind my legs. And presented it to her.

Trixie looked at it, she had never seen it before in her memory but it felt so familiar it made her heart squeeze in agony.

"What is that?" She asked in an almost pleading tone. Loneliness looked at the item like it was deadly toxic waste.

"It's your Element of Harmony Trixie. Magic. The same as mine. You gave it to Princess Star Flower as a gift remember? She might have been imaginary but the time you spent with her still made you happy. She was still your friend. And she's proved herself a friend by wanting you to be happy by making REAL friends! Not imaginary, and NOT AUDIENCE GOERS WHO ONLY KNOW THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE! And not The One And Only Trixie!"

"I . . . I . . ." Trixie gritted her teeth as she stood on her back hooves. "I don't WANT some power that's the same as yours! I DON'T WANT TO BE A BACK-UP! I DON'T WANT TO BE AN EXTRA! I DON'T WANT TO BE TRIXIE WHO ALSO HAPPENED TO HAVE SOMETHING!"

"AND IT ISN'T! Trixie every Element, even the SAME Element is different between Ponies! The Elements of Harmony looked completely different when Celestia used them! And yours does NOT look the same as mine! NO ONE IS EXACTLY THE SAME TRIXIE! There is no such thing as 'extra special' because there is no such thing as 'exactly the same' between ponies and it's cruel and WRONG to ever think that!"

"Stop saying my name like we're friends!"

"I WANT TO BE!" I shouted so loud it echoed across the wasteland of Trixie's heart.

Trixie was struck dumb.

"They're called the Elements of HARMONY, they're supposed to function TOGETHER, not stand alone! They exist to balance each other! Friendship is Magic Trixie! Do you understand what that MEANS?! Trixe you've been making yourself and your magic -weaker- by not connecting with others! The power to be better than you are Trixie? The power to be more than you are? That's only found when you join WITH others!"

Trixie gasped. But she wasn't angry or scared.

"STOP TRYING TO CONFUSE HER!" Loneliness snarled digging her claws into Trixie, Trixie unable or too befuddled to move. Her body tensed at the pain. "I'm the only one she actually needs! I'm the only one she's EVER needed! Not family! Not friends! Only me! She can only be a star with me!"

Trixie began to reach out for her Element of Magic. The light inside the uncut rough blue gem seemed to glow a smidgen brighter. Then Loneliness broke Trixie's back leg. Trixie fell. "I won't let you ruin everything you've worked for!" It hissed.

Its tail dug into the ground, and an instant later came up in my blind spot and stabbed me the back, its fish tail now a spear. I lost my magic grip on Trixie's Element but caught it before it hit the ground. Never knowing such pain I magically managed to make myself fall forward off the spike.

We reached for each other.

That was when Loneliness' form twisted about once more. The form it took, was Trixie, but this Trixie was wearing an oversized wizard's hat and purple cape with a diamond clasp. The one she had lost during the events of the Ursa Minor.  Of everything I've seen inside Trixie, this is the only thing I find I can not believe.

"YOU CAN'T JUST THROW AWAY EVERYTHING!" Loneliness/The Great and Powerful Trixie snarled coming between us. "YOU NEED ME!"

Trixie breathlessly whispered. " . . . I want to know."

"What is there to know! The only way for us to never be invisible is for us to be me! Do you want us to die-?! All we've put together! All we've made!" Trixie looked into Loneliness' eyes like a foal being told what to do by her all knowing parent.

"TRIXIE! This is YOUR MIND and YOUR HEART! This is the one place you're always the star! And if you let others inside here, YOU'LL NEVER BE INVISIBLE!" I still had good pipes for being just impaled. "All you have to do is . . . let them in." Okay. I take a little nap now. Element fall down. I push Trixie's big crown thingie as close as I could, touching the very tip of it with my nose.  

Like one of them was a hologram, Trixie reached through Loneliness, passing through her, and the tip of Trixie's hoof touched the her Element of Magic that belonged only to her the same as mine belonged only to me.

Then Loneliness exploded, twice, first blasting the Great and Powerful Trixie to atoms, and then inside the long black twisted self inflicted taint that had infected Trixie's soul for who knows how long went like Pinkie and too much sugar on a saturday night.

The second white-out world shattering blast that wasn't nearly as bad as the first, this one was down right pleasant.  When I got my wits together. I saw the giant statues of four male earth ponies, and five unicorns. I also saw a statue of me . . . about the size of one of Sweetie's dolls. Okay, it was a start.

"Twilight . . ." Trixie whispered.

I looked at her.

"There's flowers in the wasteland."

She was right. Small tiny yellow and pink flowers bloomed. They were joined now by silver and black flowers. Blue and dark blue flowers. And several different patterned silver and light blue flowers. And one small easy to miss purple and violet flower with a magenta streak through it.

"So Trixie . . . that thing, so all the times you acted like queen of everything it was something that wasn't you?" I asked, suddenly feeling like Trixie was the one with all the answers inside her now. Something about her face just looked, insightful.

"No . . . that was me. It was all me. It was always me. When I humiliated your friends and lied about defeating an Ursa Major? Those fantasies I had of hurting you? That was all me. It wasn't some possession or spell. It was me. Period. It's weird. Really weird." There was strange calmness about her.

"What is?"

"I feel like I've died and become a different pony."

"Well. The thirteenth tarot card? Death? Its original name was 'Change.' It symbolizes new beginnings. Not just endings."

A bright light came into being above us, like a star that come close to the Earth. It was followed by a set of transparent crystalline steps that just floated in the air.

"What is that?" Trixie asked in awe again asking me.

"That's your freedom Trixie. It's waiting for you. Everyone's waiting for the Great and Powerful Trixie to come home."

Trixie looked up at the light. Holding the new tone of voice. "They're going to have to wait forever then. There is no Great and Powerful Trixie here. There's just The One and Only Trixie."

Trixie got up, then fell down, her back leg still broken in this place. "I don't think I can make it up on my own."

Feeling a lot better than I should have after having been run through with a spear, I trotted over to her. "It's okay, you don't have to." I let her put her weight on me.

"Twilight."

"Yes?"

"Thank you."

We climbed into the light together.

~~~~

"And that is the tale of the death of the Great and Powerful Trixie."

"Who-Who."

Trixie let out a stressful sigh."You could be a little more enthusiastic as you transcribe this you know. Not exactly many are going to read this thing. You should feel privileged."

"He is Trixie." I said at my desk where I was writing my latest letter to Princess Celestia rather than dictating it to Spike (who was spreading the word that things had gone well). "Owlowiscious just has his own way of showing it. What he said translates as 'An amazing tale fit for the ages.' "

"Are you pulling my hind leg?"

"That's Pinkie Pie's department, not mine. Speaking of which I really need to introduce you to the others." I'd have written Trixie's family she was well again, but she said she wanted to be the one to write it.

"Uh . . . are you so sure about that?"

"No. But that's what makes it interesting. Besides. You're technically meeting Rarity, AJ, and Rainbow Dash for the first time too. You're not the only whose changed New Trixie."

"Don't ever call me that again."

"Okay, pal." I smiled at the last part.

'Dear Princess Celestia,
I am happy to report my patient has made a 120% recovery. I am fully aware that is scientifically impossible but I am currently unable to express it in any other terms. Doctor-Patient Confidentiality prevents me from explaining much and for that I am truly sorry. I've seen that just because someone has the same talent as yours, doesn't make those talents are expressed the same. And above everything, I've begun to suspect that the truest expression of friendship is to make a friend of your enemy and maybe ponies CAN change for the better.
-Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.'

~~~~~

Many Weeks And Many Days Since The Resealing Of Discord

"And that is why, to keep hard working determined Earth Ponies as a lower labor class, and feather-dusters as their enforcer class, narwhals in key positions through out Equestria ensure that over sixty percent of all household and common and commercial items require telekinesis to function properly and unable to use with hooves. Like tooth brushes. They are also designed to be compatible with Griffon claws as to help facilitate their underground alliance with the savage blood-thirsty meat-eaters.

"This helps keep Earth Ponies ignorant and distracted from the unicorn secret program of breeding and rearing dragons who are only loyal to Princess Celestia and her generals. Their ultimate goal is to strip all successful Earth ponies like ourselves of our hard earned wealth under the pretense of dragon raids and shuffles them back to the Princess' own coffers.

"At the same time, Earth Pony, narwhals, and feather-duster mares under the eye of Princess Celestia have for over a thousand years ensured that stallions remain secondary citizens with unfair treatment in favor of fillies and mares for better education and more leniency in the law. Feather-duster and Earth Pony mares foolishly believe that will ultimately be granted narwhal like privileges in aiding in this conspiracy . . .  Miss Diamond Tiara are you even paying attention? Your father is paying me a good sum of money to make sure you learn the real truth of Equestria that they will not teach in government funded schools."

"Yeah, I mean, Yes Sir I am." Diamond Tiara said in a bore distracted tone. She had heard this lesson a hundred times before, often with other contradictory theories added in as well. Whenever Silver Spoon came over during these lessons she endured them with her. She hadn't even looked at her former best friend in weeks now. And Diamond Tiara was finding herself experiencing an feeling she found quite alien, even confusing. After going through the painful task of -ugh- READING up on the subject, she concluded she was feeling lonely.

She looked at the clock and saw she needed to be somewhere else. She quickly pointed. "HEY! Isn't that a narwhal spy-dragon out the window?"

"Where? Where?" Said her tutor (a dirty brown Earth Pony with Gallop Fawkes mask as a cutie mark) rushing to the window.

Diamond calmly left the room and went to her own room and took out the sewing supplies she had hidden under her bed and left the estate with one of the unicorn maids running interference.

She made it about half way when the voice of the brown pony with the pointing everywhere arrows from her dreams started up again. She managed to ignore them all the way to Miss Rarity's shop.

The front door looked like it had been the world's most hasty repair job.

Miss Rarity worked her sewing machine with a greater sense of relief today. While Silver Spoon was still not talking to the CMCs, she was no longer verbally lashing out at them for trying to be nice to her.

Rarity had been tempted to say they could earn friendship cutie marks this way, but knew the CMCs would then try to jump to the end result and ruin any chance of getting Silver Spoon to accept friendship from her former victims. She also seemed less terrified of going home.

"Good afternoon Miss Rarity." Diamond came in, feeling more relaxed here. The narwhal's cat only attacked her once a visit now.

"Good afternoon Diamond Tiara." Rarity said in a polite lady-like and welcoming voice. "I'll be with you in just a second. Make yourself feel at home." Rarity had to say the the spoiled Earth Pony had come a long way since their secret lessons had started. She only stumbled rather than froze at trying to use the word 'unicorn' opposed to 'narwhal.' And she only stabbed herself with the showing needle about half as often she used to. And her thread lines were a lot more steady.

"You know Diamond Tiara, I think you really should make up with Silver Spoon now." While there was a chance the two fillies could end up reinforcing each other's bad behavior again, Rarity couldn't stand seeing two best friends not even so much as LOOKING at each other.

Diamond startled. "Why should I?"

"She's your friend isn't she?"

"Not anymore."

"So nothing you did with her had -any- meaning? Just the facts your parents knew each other and she was the only filly in your tax bracket? The two of you never had any fun that didn't involve picking on blank flanks? Which I always found odd since you were beside Applebloom and her friends among the last to get yours in Miss Cheerilee's class."

Diamond thought of it, she had had fun with Silver Spoon. Right? She had had fun. They had a special hug and everything right? They made them friends right? They visited each other and were happy to see each other even when they showed up unannounced. That had something to do with being friends right? She wondered if maybe, just maybe, she should try to make up or something. Mom always said silver and diamonds looked pretty together.

That was when the voice said. 'Do it now. It is all you have to do. Do it now.' A pair of scissors gleamed next to Rarity on the table.

'No.'

'Why not?'

'I don't want to.'

'She's just a narwhal. Why not?'

'She's . . . nice to me. I feel, happy, around her.'

'I see. I should tell your mother then.'

'What?'

'That you don't need her anymore. That you don't love her anymore. You found a nice replacement for her. Just like your dad is looking for a replacement for her. That you don't WANT HER to find all her marbles in that mangled contraption she calls a mind. That you don't want her at your birthday. You want a new mommy. Just keep that embarrassing secret locked away in that tiny little room, forever.'

"NOOO!!!" Diamond screamed as only a little filly could and grabbed the scissors and stabbed them in Rarity's hind quarters.

Rarity nearly impaled her hoof on the sewing machine as as she turned around to see the bloody scissors in Diamond's mouth. Tears came down her pink face ruining her make-up. The blood came down Rarity leg in contrast to her white fur.  "Diamond . . . why?" Rarity asked. Not in rage, but in shock. In worry!

~~~
"Diamond . . . why?" Asked her mother as Diamond helped hold her down as the white Pegasi took her away to where father promised she'd get better soon.
~~~

Diamond wanted to die. She dropped the blades and opened her mouth. 'Tell her why and you won't get your wish. Say you're sorry and you don't get your wish.' Taunted the voice in a pleasant voice. She closed her mouth. Why did she feel so ugly? 'And now with this last act of disharmony: Betrayal, our contract is complete. Come to me and accept my majesty.'

Diamond ran like a mad pony with bloody hoof prints out of the shop still crying. Rarity tried to follow, but had to stop to bandage herself.

Half way across town, Pinkie Pie's body began to shake like mad, a doozy of a doozy was coming.

~Fin
The Reharmonized/Recovery Pony POV series is here!
[link]

Previous Part: [link]
Next Part: [link]

Discord is beaten. The world is restored to it's proper balance and sanity and Celestia rule the day once again. But it's the scars ponies bear that you can't see that take the longest to heal. What was going on in those three weeks between episodes two and three of the second season? How did they recovery and heal from this ordeal that we didn't see?

Twilight Sparkle begins the task of healing the pony who needs it the most, the one who wants it the least, and whose needed it long long before Discord inverted her soul. But the biggest and most important question remains. Is there anything inside Trixie WORTH saving? Plenty of surprises and a half!


This series uses a lot of the ground work established in the Discord Ponies POV series.
[link]

Recovery POVs In order:
Fluttershy and Flutter Cruel: [link]
Rainbow Dash: [link]
Rarity: [link]
Applejack: [link]
Pinkamina: [link]
Twilight Sparkles: [link]
Rainbow Dash True Healing: [link]
Trixie: here
Penultimate Alpha 01 and 02 (actually part of the same chapter split due to size limits): [link] [link]
Fluttercruel and Fluttershy: [link]


POV SIDE STORY CANTERLOT CHAOS: (Consider canon of your own free will!)
[link]

A direct sequel to this POV and learn how Trixie got Discorded in the first place.
[link]

The soundtrack for this part is Themes for this part. 'Something Happened on the way to heaven.' Followed by ‪Eternal Sonata - Pyroxene of the Heart‬ and finally A Bouquet of Flowers for a Magical Girl.

MLP:FiM Copyright Hasbro

EDIT: Did I turn off a bunch of readers with the bait and switch opening?

EDIT: Corrected a lot of typos and bugs and added a few tiny details. The file is JUST under the 64 K limit or I would have added more.

EDIT: We now have our tropes page. [link]

And links fixed.

Edit: removed something.

Edit: 2011 12 10th Edits made by DracoDei. [link]

Edit: Villain song by Kendell2 for Loneliness. [link]

EDIT: March 31 2012
In light of the events of Gabby Gums, I decided that 'five weeks and five days' was kinda too short, and changed it to 'many weeks' and 'many days.'


EDIT: May 30 2012
Added one line to better link this to being Hearts and Hooves Day when DT stabbed Rarity.

EDIT: 2012 MAY 31st: Changed the gender of DT's tutor and edited the part about Silver being in on these lessons as well. This to fix in later canon.
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We start with an over the top greeting from Trixie herself, telling the story how the Great and Powerful Trixie died. And there is also the line about the "True Meaning" of "Tarot Number Thirteen", better known as Death.

Soon we switch narration to Twilight who talks about how she tried to prepare herself as good as possible by talking with Pinkie Pie about her inner struggle, reading books about dream symbolism and contacting Zecora about the situation.

Trixie’s condition is the same as before, she calmly follows any command without giving it a second thought. Twilight shows that she has learned from earlier mistake with the cockatrice by not going alone in the Everfree Forest and taking Applejack with her. But after all this time they still don’t know why the zebra rhymes everything she says. Discord’s madness actually turned Zecora into the mad witch everyone once thought she was. Since the healing wave hit her she meditated to restore her sanity after the ordeal. Like the others she is still struggling after the experience. Applejack who antagonized her on their first meeting out of fear invites her over to Ponyville to consult some additional psychological help. It is nice to see this offer coming from Applejack.

Zecora gives Twilight some additional advice about meditation, how her mind works and that other minds may be different. But before they can leave the zebra reminds Twilight without any rhymes (!) that helping Trixie is more than just winning the battle inside her mind, after that she will be responsible for her recovery. In the end Zecora accepts to let some psychologists help her.

Back home Twilight finds Owlowiscious “talking” with Trixie and wonders if he is actually asking her deep meaningful questions. Twilight finally prepares her healing of Trixie. Since the memory spell doesn’t work with a part of Trixie blocking it, she will try to move around the defences and enter the mind of the showpony. Trixie is in no shape to object to her plans but Twilight still feels the need to tell her that she will never tell anyone of what she saw in Trixie’s head. The studious unicorn is still incredible nervous, even after all her preparation there is no way she will know what lies ahead of her. Her former incidents with mind magic were mostly horrible failures like when she tried to stop the Parasprites from eating all the food or her infamous Want It Need It Spell that could have destroyed the entire town. There is a high risk, not only for her but also for Trixie.

Then we suddenly discover that the purple unicorn isn’t talking to the interviewers but dark blue Earth Pony wearing a white coat claiming she had killed Trixie back in Hoofington and just took her corpse back to her home. The doctor tells her that the event with Rainbow Dash’s Nightmare form was just a shadow projection of herself. Now she is in a mental institution.

But what seems to confuse the doctor to no end is why she even tried to help Trixie, since there was nothing to gain from helping her. He continues to imply that helping the showpony is foolish and she isn’t worth saving. His Cutie Mark is also somewhat strange. A black and white cross usually isn’t connected with medicine.

Eventually Twilight seemingly snaps and claims that her feeling of her family abandoning her has lead her to desperately try to solve every problem with magic to impress Princess Celestia. The doctor response is somewhat insecure and he tries to get her to admit that she didn’t want to save the showpony, that it could have been anyone. He just continues to talk down on Trixie.

Then the purple unicorn switches tactics and talks that she never wanted to hurt Trixie’s feelings. Twilight was genuinely impressed that the showpony tried to fight against the Ursa Minor and even dropped her “Great and Powerful” act for a moment. She also admits that the role of “villain” could have easily been switched if she or one of her friends made Trixie run away crying at her own magic show. Then she apologizes to the doctor for this. He tries to act like he has no idea what she is talking about. Finally he tries to depress her by saying that none of her three (!) friends ever tried to visit her and they all abandoned her. They only stayed by her side as long as they thought she would be useful.

When Twilight talks about how Trixie managed to inspire Snips and Snails to actually do something with themselves, the doctor seems absolutely horrified. He also knows nothing of Twilight’s role as Celestia’s student.

Then Twilight decides that it is time to quit this game. I really like the implication that she knew that something was wrong but choose to play along and try various tactics to find out what is going on. When the fake doctor makes a certain mistake Twilight is able to understand what is happening: This entire mental institution is just in Trixie’s head. She lists all the mistakes the fake doctor has made: He didn’t now how many friends Twilight had, he didn’t know she was Celestia’s student, he didn’t know what a mental ward really looked like, he didn’t know that a unicorn killer would have a seal on her horn and he didn’t even record his questions. The reason behind all these mistakes is simple; Trixie didn’t know these things so the doctor didn’t either.

After speaking in Trixie’s voice he doctor falls like an abandoned puppet as the blue pony at the door reveals itself to be the puppet master by speaking in the same voice that threw the purple unicorn out before. It then takes the form of Trixie’s mother: Morgan. The being throws a tantrum like a little child and claims that it is doing it to protect the showpony from the harmful influences of the outside. Twilight says she is happy Trixie’s defences take the shape of her mother, because this would mean that Trixie knows her mother loves her. The fake Morgan in turn screams at her and tries to attack the purple unicorn with powerful weather magic. When Twilight fights back it suspiciously tries to avoid her and Twilight crashes the world around her and falls into a recreation of Hoofington.

Since it had underestimated her, she is now much deeper in Trixie’s mind than she could ever get, should the connection break. This adds a real sense of urgency; the purple pony can’t just leave and try again later. Suddenly she is surrounded by an entire town of Trixies, taking the role of everyone in this place from children to the elderly. Then she is also Trixie and starts to forget her real self. The thoughts echoing through her head again show what the fake Morgan is thinking of Trixie: “Trixie was generic. Trixie was the same. Trixie was replaceable.“

The entire spell breaks apart when Twilight remembers that she wants to save the showpony, a memory that completely clashes with her role as a „generic Trixie”. The purple unicorn returns to her true form as the fake Town shows its real colors: Abandoned, grey and shrouded in thick heavy fog. The fake Morgan is starting to get frustrated with her second failure and the purple unicorn finally finds the real Trixie, the only real inhabitant of this empty town.

The real Trixie has taken the form of greyed out little filly without a Cutie Mark. The fake Morgan is forced to come down herself. She tries to strengthen her influence on the showpony with a twisted logic: Trixie is worthless and will never have any impact (if she knew…), so since she failed to archieve anything, the only thing left for her is to be horrible and suffering so she can at least get some pity from others. She tries to convince Trixie to let her sickness continue for all eternity, all while she has taken the shape of her beloved mother.

Twilight argues with the fake mother that drowning in self-pity will just leave the showpony alone forever. Eventually the argumentation comes down to the old question why Twilight should even want to help Trixie. The answer that she wants the real Trixie back and not the soulless puppet finally gets a response from the showpony. Interestingly Trixie uses the exact same argument the fake Morgan did: If everyone is special, no one is. The question is who learned it from whom.

Their conversation is interrupted when Trixie summons a giant black tower with a star motif, taking both her and the fake Morgan out of Twilight’s reach. The strange construction rips the town apart, taking countless fake showponies with it. The purple unicorn also falls into the darkness and encounters several of Trixie’s memories from her childhood till her encounter with Discord. This time Twilight doesn’t question herself. She also remarks that she would have no chance to fight the complete Trixie herself in her own mind and that her encounter with Discord had taught her not to play games against someone who intents her to fail from the very start.

Eventually she falls down into a long forgotten part of Trixie’s mind. There she finds a giant vault door with a little filly singing on the other side. Twilight isn’t sure if it isn’t just a monster locked inside for good reason. So far she encountered several illusions, fitting for the mind of a showpony.

The purple unicorn starts a conversation with the trapped filly but she talks completely different than Trixie or Margan and is actually delighted that there are ponies that want to be Trixie’s friends. She also doesn’t ask to be let out. When the trapped child proudly proclaims that the showpony is “most special pony in all the world”, Twilight is finally convinced that this is no trickery and frees the filly. The vault isn’t even locked…

Twilight is immediately hugged by the incredible detailed an imaginary friend named “Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eigth”, who rules an imaginary kingdom with Trixie. The showpony really put a lot of effort into this imaginary friend; she even has a back story involving an Ursa Major. No wonder she likes Trixie that much.

The purple unicorn also learns more about Trixie’s own history and her difficulty to make friends. Trixie also gave her imaginary friend a special gift: A unique Element of Magic, different from the one Twilight herself wields and shaped after Trixie’s Cutie Mark. Twilight asks to return the Element to her true owner, so she can defeat the fake Morgan and promises that the showpony will have real friends. The imaginary friend is happy that Trixie can finally have another chance to have real friends. As an imaginary friend her sole purpose was to help those who don’t have friends and as the showpony was still lonely her imaginary friend would not disappear. The fact that Pinkamena had four imaginary friends is suddenly much more depressing. But this imaginary friend was also abandoned by Trixie when she became the Great and Powerful Trixie.

After she gives Twilight the Element of Magic, the purple unicorn promises to be her friend. This causes another Element of Magic to appear in the hoofs of the imaginary friend, showing how strong the bound of friendship can be.

But just like with Pinkie Pie if one part of her knows something the other parts are informed as well and the fake Morgan lets out a savage growl and traps the imaginary friend. Just like Pinkie Pie’s imaginary friends she isn’t strong enough to break free and Twilight has to finish this on her own. She casts the gossamer wing spell, flies up in the air, dodges every obstacle that is thrown into her way and finally reaches Trixie and the fake Morgan again.

The fake mother is getting more and more frustrated at her confidence and determination. Twilight finally gives it a name: Loneliness – The opposite of friendship. The being always tried to isolate Trixie and keep others away from her. After just spending a few hours with the real mother Twilight knows that she is nothing like this. Loneliness still continues to convince Trixie to embrace the oblivion.

Then everything turns into a twisted theatre were Trixie is chained to the ground and forced to wear a court jester costume as illusions of Trixie’s family, Twilight and her friends and the population of Ponyville mock her and throw rotten fruit at her. The way they insult her is vile and merciless, eventually ending in a mocking mantra of "The Great and powerful Trixie!”

Despite torturing Trixie, Loneliness still claims that retreating into herself and hiding from reality are the answers to the problems of the showpony and that she will always be there for her. Twilight jumps to Trixie’s side and every time she is hit by something she relives an unhappy memory.

Trixie starts to remember the crown Twilight is wearing and the unicorn uses this opening to cast the memory spell in point-blank rage. The showpony relives her happy memories centred around her family and her teacher. The tower, the theatre, the fakes and Loneliness herself are destroyed.

Twilight awakens in a dead and deserted world, where giant stone statues of ponies are burrowed under the dirt. Trixie's Element of Magic is he sole ray of hope in this place and it even causes flowers to bloom around it. Trixie has turned back into her normal form. She starts to remember how Discord broke her and how the world would be so much simpler if she was just a pet instead of the “Great and Powerful Trixie” everyone mocked. Twilight points out that her family’s love is as strong as ever, they never stopped caring for her. Finally the showpony wonders were they are and Twilight is sure that this is the center of her mind, her heart and the almost buried statues are the feelings for her family. Reading all those books about dream symbolism really paid off.

Trixie still tries to reason that her family tries to take her individually by making her one of them, that every bound she forms weakens herself. The purple unicorn counters that if she really wanted to distance herself from her family she would have colored her coat and mane or at least changed her name. But she loved her family too much to do something like this. Twilight knows that her family feels the same and desperately want the real Trixie back. Thinking back to it the incomplete introduction of the MidSummer-Night Sisters really showed that they NEEDED Trixie (and her magic). It did show that she was a part of a whole and not a spare.

Slowly Trixie continues to piece herself together but still clings on to her desire to stand out and stand on her own. Twilight remarks that if she would truly stand on her own, she would be less observed with what the audience thinks of her. When the showpony says that praise by the audience was the only thing that made her feel alive, Loneliness returns.

But Loneliness has changed. Instead of looking like Trixie’s mother, she now resembles a Draconequus version of Morgan. After spending almost every second so far torturing or talking down on the showpony, she has changed tactics and tries to lure Trixie back into the fog with fake cheers of an imaginary audience. Twilight is shocked that the showpony is so easily manipulated and wonders if she may be a lost cause just Spike and Loneliness have told her.

But Twilight is still determined to keep her promise to an imaginary friend. She presents the showpony of own Element of Magic, explains what it is and how it is a promise to a part of herself to make real friends. Trixie’s desire to stand out is still strong and she doesn’t want the same power as Twilight. But the pruple pony points out that it is unique and different from her own Element.

Twilight has met Trixie’s family and their reactions to the suffering, she has seen the abyss in her mind and fought against the Loneliness inside and finally she is able to spell out why she did all of this: She wants to be Trixie’s friend. She reminds her that Magic is Friendship and by distancing herself from others Trixie’s magic became weaker instead of stronger.

Finally Loneliness drops the act of trying to help Trixie and just claws her and even breaks her back when she tries to grab the Element of Magic. Then she stabs Twilight in the back. Both unicorns desperately try to reach each other.

The form of Loneliness shifts one final time as she takes the appearance of “The Great and Powerful Trixie” with a more outlandish outfit. Trixie wants to understand what Twilight is talking about while Loneliness keeps telling her that being the isolated “Great and Powerful Trixie” is all she needs to be and needs to know. Twilight practically screams at her that if she is able to form bounds with friends she will not be forgotten, she will not be invisible and she will have a legacy.

Trixie reaches her Element of Magic and passes through Loneliness like the abomination isn’t even there. At first the form of the “Great and Powerful Trixie” explodes before the darkness inside joins her in oblivion. The statues of Trixie’s family resurface and there is even a statue of Twilight, about the size of a doll. Flowers start to bloom representing the ponies Trixie cares about, one of them looks a bit like Twilight.

But Trixie doesn’t try to blame her own actions on Loneliness and takes full responsibility for humiliating her friends, lying to everyone and fantasising about hurting Twilight. The showpony felt like she died and was reborn. The purple unicorn tells her the true meaning of the thirteenth tarot card better known as Death or Change: New beginnings after endings.

Both start to follow the light outside of the darkness and Trixie decides to change her stage name from “The Great and Powerful Trixie” to the “The One and Only Trixie”, the name Twilight came up with in the final battle.

Finally it is revealed that Trixie just told the entire history of her healing to Owlowiscious. They can be sure, that he will keep it a secret. Twilight is already planning Trixie to meet her other friends and writes a letter to the princess about the impressive recovery of her patient and that true friendship can bloom in the most unimaginable places.

But the story isn’t over yet. Diamond Tiara listens to the horrible racist and contradictory lesson filled with conspiracy theories, that her father apparently pays a lot for… She easily distracts him and ignores Discord’s rambling in order to reach Rarity. We learn that Silver Spoon is slowly making progress with the CMC. Diamond Tiara has gotten better at sewing and even calls Rarity approvingly “Miss Rarity”. The unicorn is even able to make her rethink rebuilding her friendship with Silver Spoon.

Then Discord intervenes and tells Diamond Tiara that he can just deliver the message to her mother that her own daughter doesn’t care for her anymore and found a nice replacement. In pure desperation Diamond Tiara stabs Rarity with scissors and runs off to fulfil her contract with Discord. The unicorn is completely shocked and unable to stop her from running away. The story has just started.

Overall this is a great chapter and a fitting conclusion to the first season of the Reharmonized / Healing Ponies POV Series. After the horrible bad future that was the Epilogue we got a change (the true meaning of the thirteenth tarot card) or a second chance to stop Discord. This chapter perfectly summarizes this idea. One by one the characters start to overcome their inner demons and help others to overcome theirs. Trixie’s suffering was mentioned very early in Applejack’s chapter and most of Twilight’s first chapter was spend with her sitting helpless at the sidelines, unable to help Trixie. Now after all her preparation, she finally manages to reach the lost soul in an epic battle.

Her opponent Loneliness was much stronger than every antagonist so far. She easily dominated Trixie for most of the chapter and was able to use manipulation and illusions against Twilight and Trixie. She was also incredible persistent. But more and more she started to crack when the purple unicorn just didn’t give up or follow her rules and finally she is reduced to a violent beast still unable to stop the two unicorns. What she was was never definitely answered but since both Trixie and the imaginary friend called her “other her” and Loneliness knew exactly what the showpony knew but nothing more, it is probability safe to guess that she was a part of Trixie herself. The question is just which part. My guess would be hated, self-hatred to be exact. She constantly talked down on Trixie and when the showpony stopped to listen to her, she got violent and Trixie was her first target. The only way to defeat her was to let go of her.

But at the same time we know that it isn’t over yet. Twilight is now responsible for Trixie’s further recovery, Discord is preparing his return and Fluttercruel is still a secret to everyone but Fluttershy. There are still countless stories left to be told. Keep up the great work!
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:iconpersona22:
Persona22 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
I had never been that interested in mind magic, I didn't want to turn ponies into puppets, okay there was that incident with Fluttershy but that was for her own good, she wanted out of modeling!

I think that was more of a body control spell than mind control. But, still, I see Twilight's point.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
Of course, the want it, need it spell is canon here.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
I just re-read this, and I still think that this is one of the very best chapters in the entire POV saga. Just wanted you to know that.

And if I forget to say it later, Merry Christmas.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
It's also supposed to be the next part of the audio adaption.
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
Here's hoping.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
I hope Louis is okay. 
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:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
I don't know him, but I hope he's okay too. Maybe it's just the holidays or some hopefully soon finished family troubles.
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:iconpuppylove57:
puppylove57 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
man that was so awesome you should create the rest XDDDDDDDDDDDDD
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013
I am. The next chapter is already posted. Canterlot Chaos. Then Second Family.
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:iconpuppylove57:
puppylove57 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
it is cool i will look at it today
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